Melitta starts production of millions of face masks

The Melitta Group is switching parts of its production operations in a contribution to the supply of urgently needed face masks in the wake of COVID-19.

In the production facility for Melitta coffee filters in Minden, Germany, face masks are now being manufactured in large quantities.

“With our production capacities, we are able to manufacture considerable quantities of face masks in a very short time,” says Jero Bentz, member of the Melitta Group’s Chief Corporate Management and general partner.

“For decades, our company has specialised in the development and production of filter materials such as coffee filters, vacuum cleaner bags, and other industrial specialty papers such as non-woven wallpaper and raw materials for air filters – including for the medical sector.”

The result is a face mask, shaped like Melitta’s coffee filters, with good filtration, breathing, and wearing characteristics. It consists of a three-layer non-woven material and includes a melt-blown layer that meets the standard for surgical masks according to EN14683 with a Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) greater than 95 per cent. In the first stage of production, these masks are fastened with a clip or elastic bands.

It is planned to further develop the masks in the next stages. The production of FFP2 and FFP3 masks is also in development.

Melitta produced the first million masks this week. The existing capacities should be capable of producing up to one million masks each day in the near future. These quantities can be considerably increased step by step, as long as sufficient raw materials are available. In addition to Germany, the Melitta Group also plans to use existing production capacities in the United States and Brazil to manufacture face masks for countries in North and South America.

“We are convinced that in terms of quality and quantity, together with quick availability, we can make a significant contribution to people’s health and to alleviating the restrictions caused by the corona-epidemic,” Bentz says.

Melitta will distribute the masks produced in the first week to its own employees and donate one million masks to health care facilities. Recipients are currently being determined in consultation with the relevant political authorities and the masks will be distributed shortly.

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